Camera techniques. Using a camera fully manually and understanding the relationship between depth of field, aperture and ISO. Learning how to use the cameras spot meter to determine the desired exposure. Using a polarising filter, graduated ND filters and if you have one a 10 stop ND filter. If you do not have a set of ND filters we use mine on my camera with your memory card so you can take the images home and work on them afterwards.
Location finding. Using Ordnance Survey map reading techniques to understand the lie of the land, and using a sunrise / sunset angle compass to work out the direction of light. This is one of the most important aspects of landscape photography. Knowing before you set off if your chosen location will be bathed in glorious golden light helps to cut down on wasted journeys and gives you a higher success rate of good photographs. Understanding synoptic charts to interpret weather patterns and predict cloud formations is a useful skill to learn when planning longer photographic trips and this is something that is also discussed. Local knowledge of the area does of course play a big part in helping you to get the most out of your workshop, and having spent years exploring the Cornish coastline I am in a very good position to guide you around the area.
Photographic shoot. We always visit a number of different locations for hands on photographic tuition with an emphasis on composition, direction of light and camera techniques. The day finishes with a photoshoot in the golden hour. This ensures that you get to photograph the landscape in the golden light that Cornwall is quite rightly famous for. Although landscape photography is based around using a tripod and filters, during the day we concentrate on hand held photography practicing spot metering to get the correct exposure. By the end of the day I guarantee you will understand of how to use your camera fully manually.
My landscape photography skills were self-taught by reading books, looking at other peoples work and getting out there practicing all the time. After several years of practicing I started selling my work as prints and cards in galleries and shops. I wanted to further my photographic skills so undertook a two year apprenticeship with a wedding photographer, and weddings are something that I still photograph reguarly. I think it is safe to say that my life revolves around light. Looking for it, working it and thankfully earning a living from it.
Before I worked as a full time photographer I studied Environmental managment and then Plant Sciences at Plymouth University, worked as an industrial abseiler in London and then as a tree surgeon in both the Lake District and Cornwall. I can honestly say much prefer life on the ground...
I have spent a large amount of time in the remoter areas of Cornwall building up a good knowledge of where and when to see it's flora and fauna. Cornwall offers a wide variety of habitats for photographing wildlife as well as being a popular stop off point for migratory birds. Seals and dolphins are a reasonably common sighting, and some of the wild flowers found growing on the coast are found nowhere else in Britain. The rocks are all covered in many different species of lichens, a sign of excellent air quality, and with remarkably little effort you can leave behind the thousands of holiday makers and experience the real Cornwall.